Rosslyn Analytics: Disruptive Innovation and the Emergence of a New Titan

Posted on February 2, 2011


A disruptive innovation is an innovation that disrupts an existing market. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by lowering price or designing for a different set of consumers.

from Wikipedia

In June 2009 I aired a broadcast titled Emerging Giants: The New Titans of the SaaS World which featured a number of organizations that either held or were realizing the promise of assuming a dominant player position in the new SaaS-driven world of procurement automation.

It was an interesting, energy-packed 60 minutes in that it provided a brief glimpse into the mindsets of the company leaders of the upstarts whose approach to providing their respective solutions were tied to what has now become the non-consultancy model.

Specifically, and unlike their ERP-based counterparts where implementation time lines are traditionally measured in terms of years and millions of dollars, the new SaaS-based vendors operate in a world of months, weeks and yes even days.  And they do it for a fraction of a cost of the SAP or Oracle-type licensing model which also includes a hefty and ongoing monthly maintenance fee.

Think of the ERP model as a race that once started never actually sees a runner reach the finish line, with the runner still having to pay to use the track.  That said and as indicated in my December 17th, 2010 post (Global IT Debt: A “New” Buzz Term For IT/ERP Vendor Avarice), the fact that the Global IT Debt is at $500 billion and estimated to hit the $1 Trillion mark by 2015, it looks as if people are tired of paying and just walking off the track.

But to where are they walking . . .

This is where disruptive innovation comes in to play because it provides a bonafide alternative to the accepted technologies of the day, many of which have been or are now, out of touch with how the real world operates in the present.

The challenge until recently however is that the market was for some time trapped in the aforementioned perpetual loop of a payout without end for several reasons, and was therefore slow to embrace the promising alternatives.  This meant that a successful innovator had to also be an exceptional business person and a persistent champion of the cause to avoid falling into I could have been a contender oblivion.

Unlike Brando’s character, innovators also have to have the fortitude  to not take them dives for the short end money, to still be present when the market comes around which, it eventually does.  When it does, to the victor goes the spoils!

So it is no surprise that Rosslyn Analytics CEO Charles Clark was named Supply & Demand Chain Executive 2011 “Pro to Know” for the second year in a row.

Let’s face it, Rosslyn has changed the game with their disruptive technology, which is a story I have been covering in earnest for the past year through a series of posts in this very blog.

The fact that they have done so in the critical area of spend intelligence is even more notable as many organizations in both the private and public sectors realize that knowledge, or in this case intelligent data, is a powerful mechanism for driving benefits that extend well beyond the originating buying transaction.

Take for example the recently released Governor of Virginia’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Board’s Report which highlighted as one of it’s Ten Big Ideas the need to “Utilize a standard tracking, reporting and goal-setting process,” as a key part of its overall strategy to stimulate SME supplier participation as well as the Commonwealth’s economy in general.

This level of recognition of not only the importance of intelligence but its broader utilization reflects what a company such as a Rosslyn, and its CEO Clark have known all along . . . that by providing easy accessibility to a solution that produces meaningful insights almost immediately and, at a fraction of the cost of traditional ERP-reporting modules equals meteoric success.


Now we know why Rosslyn Analytics has become one of the industry’s fastest growing companies, achieving a +100% compound annual growth in revenue and, why they were just one of only two UK-based companies named to the JMP Securities Hot 100 List.

Remember to visit the Rosslyn Analytics Blog to learn more about the company and it’s solutions

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Note: Starting in February, I have been asked to be a guest author for the Rosslyn Analytics Blog providing my insights and expertise on industry happenings as it relates spend intelligence and well, the marketplace as a whole.  So be sure to tune in or perhaps click on over would be a more appropriate term.


Posted in: Commentary